tue 31/03/2020

CD: Vetiver - The Errant Charm | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Vetiver - The Errant Charm

CD: Vetiver - The Errant Charm

The glossy sheen of LA takes over former freak folkers

Early on, Vetiver were apparently a freak folk band. Associations and collaborations with Joanna Newsom and Devandra Banhardt helped that tag stick. But constraints don’t concern Vetiver main man Andy Cabac. Fifth album The Errant Charm is accessible and none too freaky. Although introspective and tinged with psychedelia, this is old-school West Coast pop.

The Errant Charm is very tasteful. Shimmeringly produced, there’s a gloss that’s hard to get past. Cabac’s voice is softly resigned, close miked and often set back into the mix. The smoothness of The Errant Charm’s surface means that as it drifts into gear, it’s equally easy to drift off. Opening cut “It’s Beyond Me” is a woozy strum-propelled reflection that builds, but never climaxes. Lazy day stuff. Tune in and the album becomes more than food for a bliss-out. The texture and ambience of the shuffling “Can’t You Tell” is a cousin of Primal Scream’s "Higher Than the Sun”. The mid-tempo “Hard to Break” has the lilt of “Little Lies" Fleetwood Mac.

Cabac might live in San Francisco, but it's the frozen noses of LA that are brought to mind. “Wonder Why” – the video is below – has such a Lindsay Buckingham chug that it could easily shoehorn its way onto Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. “Ride Ride Ride” chugs along too, but in a 1969 Velvet Underground fashion. It’s The Errant Charm’s single edgy moment.

There’s beauty to The Errant Charm, but too much soft seduction can induce slumber.

Watch the video for The Errant Charm's "Wonder Why"

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